The end is not greater than the means. Personal feelings are not greater than God’s standards. Pragmatism fails us as individuals, institutions, and as humanity.
Let’s be unequivocal. Doing wrong is never right.
Two wrongs do not make a right.
The ends do not justify the means.
Grateful for the Peaceful Protests
I’m glad we live in a nation where it is both possible to peaceably protest and that the right to do so is protected. This right is a blessing for each one of us. We are all the better for it.
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time and energy to peacefully protest the brutality against a fellow citizen George Floyd in Minneapolis. The treatment he received by four officers failed to meet any standard of human decency. Call it what it was – absolutely wrong.
As a result of the peaceful protesters, we are all reminded of both the necessity to treat all people with kindness, respect, and dignity as they are in the image of God. Further, the protesters provided a reminder that many suffer in our communities every day.
Grateful for Conscientious Law Enforcement Officers
Furthermore, I am grateful for conscientious law enforcement officers. When the truth is told, of the around 700,000 law enforcement officers in the US, almost all of them are as upset or even more upset than the common citizen. They realize that a brother in blue both sinned against a fellow citizen and, by doing so, represents all of them. Their anger rages as well against this officer who appropriately has been charged in the death of George Floyd.
This is just one man who may represent more but doesn’t represent all.
For every bad actor in law enforcement there are many, many great actors. There are men and women who sacrificially serve each one of us in our communities. Men and women who kiss their families goodbye every day and night on their way to work who do not know what will happen throughout their shift. They never know when someone will put them in jeopardy. They never know what will happen next.
Why do they do this work? Of course each person has his or her own motivation; however, it is not for the money. These local heroes do not make bank. Most of them receive low wages in fact.
Are these individuals perfect? None of them. However, almost all of them do their best and are conscientious. They hate what happened in Minneapolis to George Floyd as much or more than any of us do. They also would say, “George Floyd should still be alive.”
I say without any hesitation, “Thank you men and women in blue!” For my friends who are law enforcement officers, my sincerest thanks.
Police Brutality and Racism Are Wrong
Anywhere and everywhere there is police brutality, it is wrong.
Do the police have a job to do that ultimately helps the community? Yes. That is both their goal and responsibility. The Bible says so as well (Rom 13:1-8).
However, anytime and anyplace they break laws to enforce laws, they are wrong. And, as I wrote earlier in this piece, doing wrong is never right. A double wrong does not equal a right. The ends do not justify the means.
They have bad days, pressures at home, rough calls, and countless other stressers in their lives. Their personal experience also plays a role in how they do their jobs. All these things combine, at times, into a lethal cocktail. In a moment sometimes or for a season, the police officer fails to maintain his or her professionalism, personal ethics, mutual respect for others, or composure. In these moments, the officer fails as a servant and as a person.
All of us inherently understand this because it happens to each one of us. We at times also fail as servants to others in our community as neighbors and as people. When it happens to us though, our tools of injustice are typically less brutal, dangerous, or powerful. And just like us, where we would face prosecution if we broke the law in our own exasperation, a lawbreaking law enforcement officer must as well.